Thanks to Wednesday Books for having me on this book tour for 𝐇𝐔𝐑𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐀𝐍𝐄 𝐒𝐔𝐌𝐌𝐄𝐑 This one releases TOMORROW, May 4th & I am so ready for this HUGE pub day of amazing books – make sure you head back to my blog and bookstagram for some incredible reviews & features!
About The Book:
Title: Hurricane Summer
Author: Asha Bromfield
Pub. Date: April 27th, 2021
Publisher: Wednesday Books
In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to the heart of Jamaica, and into the soul of a girl coming to terms with her family, and herself, set against the backdrop of a hurricane.
Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica.
When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him.
In an unexpected turn of events, Tilla is forced to face the storm that unravels in her own life as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise―all in the midst of an impending hurricane.
Hurricane Summer is a powerful coming of age story that deals with colorism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic―and what it means to discover your own voice in the center of complete destruction.
Asha Bromfield is an actress, singer, and writer of Afro-Jamaican descent. She is known for her role as Melody Jones, drummer of Josie and the Pussycats in CW’s Riverdale. She also stars as Zadie Wells in Netflix’s hit show, Locke and Key. Asha is a proud ambassador for the Dove Self-Esteem Project, and she currently lives in Toronto where she is pursuing a degree in Communications. In her spare time, she loves studying astrology, wearing crystals, burning sage, and baking vegan desserts. Hurricane Summer is her debut novel.
Thank you to Wednesday Books for connecting Asha and I for a fun Q&A below!
Where did the inspiration for Hurricane Summer come from, did you have your own life changing summer like Tilla?
AB: Hurricane Summer was inspired by countless summers that I spent in the countryside of Jamaica. More specifically, it was inspired by a summer I had when I was thirteen years old. It was different from Tilla’s journey but similar in a lot of ways. I felt driven to tell the story of the journey into womanhood, and how complicated and nuanced that transition can be for a lot of young women. I wanted to explore what happens when young women are no longer loved and revered by their fathers or protected by the chastity of girlhood. I also wanted to take an honest look at the way we as a society shame and judge young women. I believe young women are deserving of a safe space to come into themselves and their pleasure, and this book is a celebration of that.
What research went into creating this atmosphere for your book aside from your personal experiences?
AB: Being Jamaican, I’m fortunate that my culture is my research. Growing up, my parents were both Rastas, and so Jamaican culture runs through me. I’ve been engulfed by the richness of my Jamaican lineage my entire life, and I feel like I’m bursting with stories about the diaspora. My research came from studying the people around me and getting curious about my people. There are so many stories waiting to be told. It excites me.
Are there any scenes in the book that you really want readers to connect with and what are you hoping they take away from that?
AB: The scene that happens with Andre and Tilla that deals with colorism is really special to me. I’m passionate about bringing awareness to colorism, and I think that scene explores the topic so beautifully. It’s definitely not discussed enough, and it’s an insidious part of western culture. A lot of the abuse that happens in the book is a direct consequence of colonization and slavery and I think we need to start having more honest conversations about that, and how colorism is a byproduct. I also love the scene at the end where Tilla takes back her power. Without giving too much away, my hope is that readers discover how much power they have over their own lives. I want young people to know that they get to define themselves, not the world. And once you know that truth, you can set yourself free.
Who inspires you as a reader, that make you a better writer?
AB: Tomi Adeyemi has been instrumental in my career. Her writing is phenomenal, and her boldness is what inspired me to write. She’s been a huge champion of my work and a mentor to me along my journey. She reminded me that I can do anything, and that I don’t have to stay within the box that society creates. My hope is to be that inspiration for someone else. You can do anything you put your mind to. Define yourself, for yourself, so that the world can’t tell you what you can and can’t do. Having the courage to believe in myself is what makes me a better writer every time I sit down to write.
What has been the most inspiring part of releasing your debut novel during a pandemic?
AB: I love the power it’s given me over my career. A lot of the times as an actress, you’re waiting for someone to tell you ‘yes’. I think writing this book helped me take my power back in a lot of ways. It helped me realized that my power is my voice, and no one can take that from me. It’s my superpower.